Sir Simon Rattle appointed Music Director

Sir Simon Rattle is appointed Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra

Tuesday 3 March 2015

The London Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce the appointment of Sir Simon Rattle as its Music Director. He will take up his appointment in September 2017.

Rattle follows in the footsteps of a long line of illustrious Principal Conductors of the LSO (see full list) including most recently Valery Gergiev (2007–15), Sir Colin Davis (1995–2006), Michael Tilson Thomas (1988–95), Claudio Abbado (1979–88) and André Previn (1968–79). As Music Director he will be involved in every aspect of the LSO’s work as well as championing music and music education.

At the announcement of his appointment this morning Simon Rattle outlined his vision for universal access to music, with children and young people at its heart. He called for new standards in making world-class music available to all.

He stated: “During my work with the LSO over the last years, I noticed that despite the Orchestra’s long and illustrious history, they almost never refer to it. Instead, refreshingly, they talk about the future, what can they make anew, what can they improve, how can they reach further into the community. In terms of musical excellence, it is clear that the sky's the limit, but equally important, in terms of philosophy, they constantly strive to be a twenty-first century orchestra. We share a dream in which performing, teaching and learning are indivisible, with wider dissemination of our art at its centre. I cannot imagine a better or more inspiring way to spend my next years, and feel immensely fortunate to have the LSO as my musical family and co-conspirators.”

LSO Chairman Lennox Mackenzie spoke of the Orchestra’s delight at Simon Rattle’s appointment at this morning’s announcement: “I am thrilled that Sir Simon Rattle has accepted our invitation to lead the Orchestra into the future. On behalf of the whole Orchestra, we welcome him as our Music Director at this hugely important moment in the LSO’s history.

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, added: “This is the realisation of a dream, to bring Simon Rattle back to his home country to lead the extraordinary musicians of the LSO. We look forward to a new chapter of ambitious music-making that reaches deep into the communities we serve and touches people’s lives with the power of music.”

Simon Rattle first appeared with the LSO in October 1977, at the age of 22. More recently he conducted the Orchestra at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and in two acclaimed concerts at the Barbican Centre in January of this year.

He is currently Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where he was appointed in 2002. He was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to music in 1994 and received the Order of Merit in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.

> Read the full press release (PDF)

Forthcoming appearances with the LSO

> Thu 2 Jul 2015 7.30pm, Barbican
Brahms & Dvorák with Krystian Zimerman (Returns Only)

> Sun 5 Jul 2015 7.30pm, Barbican
UK premiere of Jonathan Dove's children's opera The Monster in the Maze and Walton Symphony No 1 with Guildhall Symphony Orchestra

> Wed 8 & Thu 9 Jul 2015, Aix-en-Provence Festival
Jonathan Dove's children's opera The Monster in the Maze

> Thu 9 Jul 2015, Aix-en-Provence Festival
Brahms & Dvorák with Krystian Zimerman

> Sat 9 & Sun 10 Jan 2016 7pm, Barbican
Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande, directed by Peter Sellars

> Wed 13 Jan 2016 7.30pm, Barbican
Ravel, Dutilleux & Delage with Leonidas Kavakos

> Thu 14 Apr 2016 7.30pm, Barbican
Messiaen & Bruckner with Pierre-Laurant Aimard

> Sun 17 Apr 2016 7pm, Barbican
Haydn The Seasons

> Sun 26 Jun 2016 7pm, Barbican
UK premiere of a new children's opera by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Berlioz Symphonie fantastique with Guildhall Symphony Orchestra

> Thu 30 Jun 2016 7.30pm, Barbican
Ives, Beethoven & Rachmaninov with Krystian Zimerman